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Herlings celebrates victory at Dutch Grand Prix | News

KTM Factory Racing's Jeffrey Herlings claimed the overall win at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands, the second round of twenty in the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship.

Huge rainfall created a rough and treacherous Eurocircuit in Valkenswaard south of Eindhoven. Herlings got back to winning ways on home territory after missing the Dutch GP in 2019. With moto tallies of 2-1 he shared the same points total as Tim Gajser but ruled the final event standings courtesy of his second race result. The 25-year old Dutchman maintains his grip on the red plate as MXGP series leader after his second victory of the season.

“This was one of the most difficult Valkenswaard wins,” said Herlings. “Tim did a great job but it was important for us to think about the overall than the 1-1 and to not lose points. This was a good GP for us. Going to Argentina I hope we can find some good weather! It has been two in a row now with rain! We’ll try to make the best of the situation there and go again for a podium spot.”

Tony Cairoli, still competing with a tweaked right knee, rode two solid motos in the draining conditions to record a 7-5 scorecard and only just missed out on a successive rostrum appearance. The nine-times world champion was fourth overall and five places in front of Jorge Prado in ninth. The Spaniard guided his factory KTM 450 SX-F to a decent 4th in the first moto and was lucky to escape a high-speed crash and pile-up at the start of the second outing. Prado picked up and raced back to 13th for what was only his second MXGP fixture.

“Valkenswaard is a race where we struggle a bit but with some experience we could come away with 4th overall, which is good and in spite of the conditions and my knee,” said Cairoli. “I wasn’t comfortable and it wasn’t the best for a track where you need to attack. In the end we have to be happy even if this is not the result that we normally want. We know in the first races we have to stay in the top five. Let’s hope in Argentina the race will be a bit more flowing with some more places to pass. Today was a very difficult track.”

Full Round Recap

The weekend at the sand pit that is Valkenswaard has come to an end, as Red Bull KTM Factory riders Jeffrey Herlings and Tom Vialle dominate the MXGP and MX2 classes at the MXGP of The Netherlands. KTM Factory now leave round two of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship with two red plates as they lead both championships.

Coming into the weekend, all eyes were on Herlings and what he could do on a sandy circuit and in front of his home fans and one of the biggest questions is who would join him on the podium.

In race one, it was Red Bull KTM Factory’s Jorge Prado with the FOX Holeshot closely followed by fellow KTM factory rider Jeffrey Herlings and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP rider Jeremy Seewer. Just a couple of moments later though, Seewer made a mistake and crashed out of the race.

A lot happened on the first lap, as Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider Pauls Jonass also came together with both riders going down, loosing quite a few positions. Also getting caught up in a bit of drama was SM Action M.C Migliori – J1 Racing’s Henry Jacobi and the Standing Construct GasGas Factory rider Glenn Coldenhoff. Both riders crashed out and were left with a lot of work to do. Meanwhile Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider and qualifying race winner, Arminas Jasikonis was in seventh position, making his way through the field.

On the official first lap of the race, it was Prado who led the way followed by Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, Herlings and Jasikonis. SS24 KTM MXGP privateer Shaun Simpson got off to a good start and was running in an impressive fifth place.

Gajser didn’t wait long and made a swift move on the MXGP rookie, Prado. Herlings also followed, brining Jasikonis with him, pushing the young Spaniard down a further two position. A few laps later and Gajser had already ran away with it, extending his race lead to 7.425 second over Herlings who was being chased down by the #27 of Jasikonis.

With the top three making a run for it, the battle was then on for fourth place. Simpson was clearly feeling good out on track and was taking time out of Prado who was ahead of him. He may have pushed a little too hard though, as he took a pretty big fall, finishing the race in 25th.

Having a good ride in the race was the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP rider Gautier Paulin who was in 5th, before making a pit-stop for goggles, losing a position to the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing’s Clement Desalle. With fresh goggles, the Frenchman was able to catch the Kawasaki rider and muscle his way through to move back into P5. Both riders finished the race in 5th and 6th respectively.

With just a few laps to go, Herlings was pushing to find new lines and improve his lap times, but by this point Gajser was already 13.967 second ahead, as Jasikonis continued to follow in third. In the end Gajser took the first race win, as Herlings was forced to settle for second, and Jasikonis finishing third.

Coldenhoff made a good come back from the back of the field, as he placed 9th ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory’s Antonio Cairoli who rode a steady race, despite his struggles with his knee injury.

Then it was time for race two, and the second time around it was Herlings with a flying start, to secure the second FOX Holeshot of the weekend. Cairoli, Gajser and Jasikonis followed in tow, while Jonass had another unlucky start to the race, going down in the opening lap.

Gajser wasted no time in this race, knowing that he couldn’t let Herlings run away just yet, he made a quick move on Cairoli and put his head down to chase down the Dutch rider. Not long after Jasikonis also found his way past the 9-time world champion to move up to P3. Pushing not to lose the guys ahead, Jasikonis was improving his sectors as it was clear that he was set on making sure he was stood on that podium at the end of the race.

Getting another good start in the second MXGP race was Shaun Simpson who was down in 5th, ahead of the PAR Homes RFX Racing pilot Evgeny Bobryshev and Team Honda SR Motoblouz rider Jeremy Van Horebeek.

All the while, Gajser had his sight set on the win, as he took a chunk of time out of Herlings, with just 2 seconds separating 1st and 2nd. While it was obvious that Gajser was keen to secure a win here in Valkenswaard, he may have been pushing a little too hard at times, as he made several mistakes in one lap, losing around 2 seconds on the leader.

Keen to make up for the crash in race one, Simpson was moving quick and it paid off as he was able to catch and pass Cairoli for P4, pushing the KTM Factory rider to 5th.

As Herlings continued to lead the way with two laps to go, it looked like Gajser had found a second breath of air and by the following lap had already halved that gap between him at 1st place, and that’s when the race for the win was really on.

Though Gajser pushed hard, it wasn’t quite enough, and it was Herlings who took the second race victory, to take the overall win in front of his home fans in Valkenswaard. Gajser finished second, with Jasikonis able to hold on to third, despite a big crash and a pit-stop to change his goggles.

Shaun Simpson finished in a strong 4th position, followed by Cairoli and Van Horebeek as well as Glenn Coldenhoff who finished the race in 7th.

MXGP – Top 10 GP Classification

1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 47 points;
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 47 p.;
3. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 40 p.;
4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 30 p.;
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 28 p.;
6. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 28 p.;
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 26 p.;
8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 26 p.;
9. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 26 p.;
10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 18 p.

MXGP – Top 10 GP Championship Classification

1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 94 points;
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 85 p.;
3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 68 p.;
4. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 60 p.;
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 58 p.;
6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 56 p.;
7. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 53 p.;
8. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 47 p.;
9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 42 p.;
10. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 39 p.